Liberal renewal

James McLeod
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Committee to include prominent Grits

Siobhan Coady

The Liberal party is getting serious about renewal, and they’re enlisting some of their big guns to do it.

Sources say plans are coming together for a “renewal committee” which will spend months travelling the province and hearing about what it means to be a Liberal.

“It’s about listening, listening, listening,” a source close to the project told The Telegram.

The source spoke to The Telegram on the condition of anonymity because the “renewal committee” is still coming together. A formal announcement is not expected until the first week of April.

The idea of a renewal committee has been batted around for months within the Liberal party. It was first talked about seriously when interim party leader Dwight Ball took on the job in December.

The idea is to have a group of prominent party members travel around the province holding events and town hall meetings as a way to reach out to Liberals, and talk about the party’s core values.

At that time, three names were talked about as being central to the process — former MP Siobhan Coady, former leader Kevin Aylward, and businessman Dean MacDonald, who has made it clear he’s interested in pursuing the party leadership in the future.

But sources in the party indicate since then the project has grown, and when the announcement happens, it will likely include more prominent party members, and representation from different regions of the province.

In last fall’s provincial election, the Liberals narrowly managed to hold onto official Opposition status in the House of Assembly, but they came third in popular vote — five percentage points behind the NDP.

Since then, there has been talk internally of getting back to the “grassroots” of the party.

The Liberals have been fairly active in the past couple of months, holding a significant party fundraiser in February, hiring a full-time executive director and planning for a $250-a-plate fundraising dinner with federal MP Justin Trudeau in early May.

The Liberal source told The Telegram the renewal committee’s work would be “ongoing” and there would be no deadline or rush to move quickly.

However, the party is holding a provincial convention in Gander in early November, and the committee will likely make a progress report on its work at that point, as well as holding meetings during the convention. Twitter: TelegramJames


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Recent comments

  • Jeb White
    March 26, 2012 - 10:52

    I think it's a waste of time and money. You want a winner to rebuild the party and that's not Coady and definitely not Aylward. The time to put on a show like this is when it seems the electorate are ready for a change. I don't think it is. NLers keep governments in power for long periods. That could change but I think the Liberal party should wait a couple of more years. As is often said, opposition parties don't win elections, it's the governing party that loses elections. Time is not on the side of the PC party.

  • KD
    March 26, 2012 - 09:07

    The liberal party doesn`t have to look far for renewal all that is needed is for the liberals to represent the people who elected them and not themselves and rid themselves of the past and get rid of the old boys club there must be some good in some of the things the pc`s are doing the majority of the people voted for them and mr macdonald forget about ever being elected even though you maybe the savior of the liberals you have an open mind currently not present with nl liberals

  • Money Talks
    March 26, 2012 - 08:40

    Until the liberals get their own financial house in order no one will think they can take care of public finances. They have got to renew their staffing as well. Right now it is a club for former MHA's, their families, and staffers from when they were in power. New blood, new thinking is what is needed. The low voter turnout in the last provincial election shows the public doesn't think much of any political party at the moment.

  • Harvey
    March 26, 2012 - 08:21

    I like Ms Coady...she can do great things for the Liberal Party. I have been a supporter of the P.C. Party for some years. That has vanished. The present gov't is becoming a the House proceedings and the clownish acts from the governing side.

  • Eli
    March 26, 2012 - 08:09

    Siobhan is a loser.

  • L Hickey
    March 26, 2012 - 07:32

    Coady would be an excellent choice for Liberal Party Renewal. She was an exceptionally effective Member of the previous Parliament and it was a shock when she was not reelected. My advice would be to drop Justine Trudeau because of his recent comments and chauvinistic attitude .

    • MUN Poli Sci
      March 27, 2012 - 06:38

      She won her seat by less than 1,000 votes during the Danny Williams Anyone But Conservative campaign. She then lost her seat by over 7,000 votes or 40% of her support had disappeared. There must be reasons for a drop in support like that.

  • Coady and Aylward Are Not Renewal
    March 26, 2012 - 07:01

    How can the Liberal party say it is renewing itself when the prominent Liberals on the committee are Liberals of the past with election records that are nothing to be proud of? Seriously, how can any of them think that people who lost the confidence of the electorate can lead the party back? It is baffling.

    • Concern Citizen
      March 26, 2012 - 07:30

      They can lead the party back because of the idiot's that are in there now (The P.C. Party) Biggest joke of this provinces history and a MORON for a so called premier.